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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The evening hugs and the morning byes

It is 5:30 pm in the evening. I am able to successfully avoid all the traffic congestion and reach my parking lot from office for a safe and comfortable parking. The car is parked. I switch off the music system, pick up my laptop and head towards my house's entrance door. I open the door and here you go... Two beautiful and adorable angels come running towards me - the elder one behind the younger one. This is one race where the younger one always beats the elder one, without any exception.


I have to take off my laptop bag faster than i am prepared for. If i don't do this fast enough, it might be difficult to balance the laptop with the high jump leap that the younger is about to launch on me. The destination of her high jump is straight in my laps, perfectly dovetailing her legs around my waist. I better be ready. This is usually followed by 50-60 seconds of a deep hug sprinkled with a few kisses flying around from both ends. These 60 seconds can easily beat the rest of the 23 hours and 59 minutes of the day anytime and every time. After about 60 seconds, we see each other face to face. Both of us are smiling while we glance at these pleasurable moments of life. While i slowly descend the younger one to the ground, it is time for the elder one to enjoy the next 60 seconds flight in my lap and for me to relish the beauty of life once again for 1 more minute. Daughters are a delight to have, and we are undoubtedly blessed and are also the  privileged ones.

As with many families, both my daughters are so different from each other - whether it is their nature, attitude or studying pattern and style, but when it comes to the evening hug, i see all differences relinquished to dust. Have the evening hugs always been like that? Not really. There was a period of time in our life when we were all running for money - not that we did not realize the importance of love and family - but simply because that is what we saw happening all around us - and therefore, we thought that if everyone is chasing money, they must be correct and this may be the only option in life. If everyone believes that money can buy physical comfort, then they must be right. If everyone believes that physical comfort will give us emotional happiness, then they must be right. How wrong I was. I had just descended the 2nd bundle of happiness on the floor, and trust me, the feeling of bliss had nothing to do with all the physical comfort that we possess today.

It is 5:30 am in the morning, and it is time for me to cajole with my kids and wake them up for school. As my wife prepares breakfast for them, i have selfishly made sure that i do not let this privilege of waking up the kids go to her. I go from one bed to another, waking up each baby, cajoling them for a few secs, taking them in my lap to the washroom to begin the morning chores. Their sub conscious hug, while in sleep, is worth a million dollars that is needed for financial freedom. As they get ready for school and i go to drop them up to the school bus stand, i make sure that i spend at least 5-10 minutes chatting with them while waiting for the bus. That one-one personal chat, which sometimes turns into making them revise their maths tables and sometimes into listening their extended version of the latest song they have heard or even the latest riddle they heard from their classmates at school, gives enough energy to take on any challenge during the day. The school bus arrives and they make sure that they depart with a "good-bye" that continues from the rear glass window of the bus even after they are gone hundreds of meters physically away.

Of all the money in the world, of all the promotions at work, of all the achievements in life, the "evening hugs and the morning byes" stands time tested and not worth losing out for anything else. All this has come with some effort, some sacrifice - a decision to do away with the rat race, treading my own path, and refusing to just follow what "successful" others around me are doing. I have realized that the time is my most important asset.


All you need to do is to find ways to "buy time" for yourself, spend enough time with your kids, play with them, study with them, struggle with them, before you can have the pleasure of those evening hugs and morning good byes.

It is definitely possible, anyone can do it. You need to setup clear priorities in life and then do not budge from your priorities just because others around you have a different set of priorities. Have a mission, have some dreams, and then chase those dreams. You do not need to be a millionaire to be happy, but you definitely need to be clear of your dreams and insulate them from being destroyed. You need to fiercely protect them at all costs.

Happy evening hugs !! Happy morning good-byes !!

All the best !!

Cheers

Manoj Arora

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